StoryCorps

StoryCorps is an independent nonprofit organization whose mission is to provide Americans of all backgrounds and beliefs with the opportunity to record, share, and preserve the stories of our lives.

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5:08am

Fri August 30, 2013
StoryCorps

Following In The Family Footsteps

Originally published on Fri August 30, 2013 7:51 am

Mackenzie Byles graduated in 2010 from Mount Ida College with a degree in Funeral Home Management. She's taking over the family business from her dad, Don.
StoryCorps

Don Byles, 65, is a funeral director in New London, Conn. His grandfather started the family's business, Byles-MacDougall Funeral Service, in 1904. Now, Byles is getting ready to hand it over to his 25-year-old daughter Mackenzie.

"You have to teach me a lot of stuff before you can retire," Mackenzie tells her dad during a recent visit to StoryCorps. "I'm a little nervous about being on my own here. I've got big shoes to fill with you."

Click on the audio link above to hear their StoryCorps conversation.

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1:20am

Fri August 23, 2013
StoryCorps

At 16, Making A Trek To Make The '63 March On Washington

Originally published on Fri August 23, 2013 4:47 pm

Members of the Congress of Racial Equality leaving Brooklyn en route to the March on Washington, on April 15, 1963. At 16, Lawrence Cumberbatch (fourth from left, in back wearing a white hat) was the group's youngest member.
Orlando Fernandez World Telegram & Sun/Library of Congress

Lawrence Cumberbatch was only 16 when he trekked, on foot, from New York City to Washington, D.C., to join the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. Lawrence, now 66, was the youngest person on the march with the Brooklyn branch of the Congress of Racial Equality.

His parents thought two weeks on the open road would be too dangerous for a teenager and made their best effort to dissuade him, Lawrence tells his son, Simeon, 39, at StoryCorps in New York.

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12:56am

Fri August 16, 2013
StoryCorps

Riding Choppers And Harleys To Protect Kids In Need

Originally published on Fri August 16, 2013 9:36 am

Happy Dodson (left) and Taz Roman are president and treasurer, respectively, of the Connecticut chapter of Bikers Against Child Abuse.
StoryCorps

Happy Dodson and Taz Roman are bikers. Not cyclists, but the leather jacket and chained wallet kind of bikers. They're also members of a group called Bikers Against Child Abuse.

The nonprofit, with chapters across the U.S. and in some parts of Europe, accepts referrals from parents, guardians, police, social workers and other agencies. Whenever those kids don't feel safe, they can call Happy, Taz and their other biker friends, who come straight to the child's house.

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5:49am

Sat August 10, 2013
StoryCorps

How Two Veterans Helped Each Other With A Second Chance

Originally published on Sun August 11, 2013 5:43 am

Marine Cpl. Paul Wayman, left, and former Navy SEAL Nathanael Roberti met through a program in California that helps veterans readjust to civilian life.
StoryCorps

Marine Cpl. Paul Wayman and former Navy SEAL Nathanael Roberti met in 2012, after finding themselves in front of a special court for veterans.

The court takes into account the specific struggles that service members face, so the judge gave each of them a choice: go to prison, or enroll in a program that helps veterans readjust to civilian life.

They chose to go through the program, Veterans Village of San Diego, located in a California live-in facility.

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11:17pm

Thu August 8, 2013
StoryCorps

Surviving Tragedy: 'It Brought Us Closer'

Originally published on Fri August 9, 2013 10:06 am

Ondelee at home before his prom. In Chicago, prom night is a big deal. Fifty percent of African-American Chicago high school students end up dropping out of high school before senior year. Ondelee graduated from Wendell Phillips Academy High School in Chicago on June 15, and is planning to attend college.
Carlos Javier Ortiz Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting

One night in 2009, Ondelee Perteet and a friend went to a party in his hometown of Chicago.

"A lot of people, they started throwing gang signs. And, you know, I got into an argument with somebody in the party, and that's when I got shot in the face," Ondelee said during a recent visit to StoryCorps with his mother, Detreena.

He was 14.

"I got to the hospital, and the doctor came back, and he said, 'We're sorry, but he's never going to move his arms and legs again,' " said Detreena, 47. "It just tore me apart."

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